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Old 02-02-2016, 08:35 AM   #43
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1975 31' Excella 500
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Newbie advice on hitching

On my last "pre-Hensley" trip home through Dallas on the I-20 bypass, I was going down a grade and ended up with a big truck on each side of me.

That was my last sway event, and the straw that broke the camels back.

I bought the Hensley, and I have not regretted the decision for a single minute since it has been installed.




Brevi tempore!
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Old 02-02-2016, 09:38 AM   #44
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The particulars of my accident in which I totaled both my 29' AS and TV were all about sway and just how quickly it can happen. I had an anti-sway device on the trailer and it was properly adjusted, and the trailer brakes were properly adjusted - for an empty trailer. We had not considered properly the weight of our gear so when I crested a hill doing exactly 60 (I know because I checked) I touched the breaks and suddenly experienced violent sway and seconds later I was in the ditch. My new rig with the ProPride 3 lets me relax and not worry about that awful feeling of losing control. But I've also learned a thing or two about the physics of weight distribution, etc., so I feel confident a few thousand miles from home this winter. As some have mentioned, I do think there is an element of peace of mind involved, so to each his own. I'm just saying that my personal measure of peace of mind got seriously jarred that day and now I want to pass on what I learned to other Newbies. I think this forum is the best way for all of us to learn all we need to know to be safe and I am really glad it exists!
Suzanne
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:11 PM   #45
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The hitches totally eliminate sway, strangely, in this day and age just as they advertise. For me, Hensley designed hitches add greatly to my joy of driving.

For a person not accustomed to towing I highly recommend one. Not having to even think about sway frees a person just to mind the serious business of driving.


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Old 02-05-2016, 08:33 AM   #46
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Having a reputable dealer can make all the difference. My dealer said there was no official hitch that they endorsed, but that Airstream tells dealers that the Blue Ox does well with their trailers. The dealer quoted me a price and also mentioned that I could buy one online if I wanted to lower the cost. I saved about $150 less by internet shopping. This is the kind of customer service that will keep me coming back to a trusted dealer.
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Old 02-06-2016, 11:26 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tumbleweeds View Post
The particulars of my accident in which I totaled both my 29' AS and TV were all about sway and just how quickly it can happen. I had an anti-sway device on the trailer and it was properly adjusted, and the trailer brakes were properly adjusted - for an empty trailer. We had not considered properly the weight of our gear so when I crested a hill doing exactly 60 (I know because I checked) I touched the breaks and suddenly experienced violent sway and seconds later I was in the ditch. My new rig with the ProPride 3 lets me relax and not worry about that awful feeling of losing control. But I've also learned a thing or two about the physics of weight distribution, etc., so I feel confident a few thousand miles from home this winter. As some have mentioned, I do think there is an element of peace of mind involved, so to each his own. I'm just saying that my personal measure of peace of mind got seriously jarred that day and now I want to pass on what I learned to other Newbies. I think this forum is the best way for all of us to learn all we need to know to be safe and I am really glad it exists!
Suzanne
Hi Suzanne. I'm trying to understand what went wrong with your rig to cause the total loss and what you are doing differently now except for the addition of a ProPride.

You state: "We had not considered properly the weight of our gear so when I crested a hill doing exactly 60 (I know because I checked) I touched the breaks and suddenly experienced violent sway and seconds later I was in the ditch."

Obviously, this is a highly unusual event. What caused the problem when you touched the brakes and lost control? Thanks.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:18 AM   #48
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Thanks for asking this great question; it really came down to a matter of weight and the role that plays in the phenomenon of sway. The original '87 weighed around 8000 lbs empty, as opposed to our '74 at around 6ooo lbs. We had packed way too much stuff into the trailer and didn't pay enough attention to the distribution of that weight. We had trailer brakes and they had been set for the empty trailer, but we were in the process of figuring out how high to set them for the loaded trailer, as we had stopped twice that morning to increase the trailer brakes, without really knowing what was enough. So cresting that first big hill, which had a curve to it, set up the perfect storm for the trailer to start swaying and it happened fast! The weight of the trailer headed out to the left and dragged my car with it into the ditch, trailer landing on it's side and the car was still upright, but all that weight destroyed the frame of the car and mangled the hitch assembly. I believe that if we had had the ProPride 3, this situation could have ended without going into the ditch. Interestingly, pulling the trailer had felt fine right up until that hill and I had driven the '87 and our Expedition to Maine from Virginia where we bought it with no problems at all, but we hadn't leaded all our gear into it yet. All this is why I say our lack of understanding of the physics involved led to this accident.
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